• Steve Bunce

Haye deluded to expect easy night

Steve Bunce July 10, 2012
David Haye could be in for a punishing 12 rounds if Dereck Chisora can sustain his pressure © Getty Images

Frankly I'm amazed that Dereck Chisora and David Haye are going to come together twice - at a press conference on Wednesday, then at the weigh-on on Thursday - this week before their fight at Upton Park on Saturday.

Not because I think anything outrageous or stupid is going to happen - it's just that the public want to see them in the ring now, not with metal fences between them.

Really, the build-up is over - and by now Chisora will know that the way to beat Haye is quite simple: you've got to hurt him early, and keep hurting him. There isn't a need to throw a lot punches - instead, you've got to clip him, and make sure he stays clipped. That's the way Wladimir Klitschko beat him.

There's no doubt Chisora has the stamina to keep the pressure on him, and keep hurting him: he showed that in his last two championship fights, against Vitali Klitschko and Robert Helenius. In both of those fights he finished as fast as he started, winning the last round. That's particularly impressive because Helenius and Vitali are busier than Haye - and I'd argue Vitali hits harder than Haye. Haye has power, but doesn't make people go down with one punch like Sonny Liston and Mike Tyson did: he whacks them a few times and they go over.

Haye is training so hard because he knows if he doesn't clip Chisora on the chin early on, he's going to have to fight for 12 rounds. We've never seen David go 12 rounds and fight for every second of every round: we've seen him box brilliantly to beat Valuev over 12, and box defensively against Wladimir over 12 - but never seen him throwing for the full 12.

There might be suggestions, based on a little bit of footage from BoxNation's 'Beyond the Ropes' show that could be a few weeks old, that Dereck is out of shape and won't be able to sustain the pace - but what I'm hearing is that he's in the best shape he has ever been.

Haye can compare Chisora to John Ruiz, who he beat in April 2010, all he wants - and they do have a similar style and build - but Chisora is a lot younger, a lot fresher. I wonder whether David Haye would have walked through the Ruiz that beat Evander Holyfield in 2001, rather than the one he met all those years later? I suspect not.

Chisora finished strongly against Robert Helenius, and his stamina is no concern © Getty Images

The referee is going to be crucial on Saturday: if he allows Haye to hold on and try and get a breather, then Dereck will be at a disadvantage. Equally, if Dereck's allowed to really get inside, rattle away and score points, then David will be at a disadvantage.

I want to see the referee very strict, in the manner of how Richie Davies - who should be the referee at Upton Park, but politics are preventing that - took charge of Nathan Cleverly v Tony Bellew last year. Those two had behaved far worse than Haye and Chisora in the build-up to their fight, and the first moment they got into a clinch, Davies screamed at them, making sure everyone in the arena could hear - and then they were calm, because they knew where they stood.

Haye wants to get the attention of Vitali, who beat Chisora earlier this year on points, and he will really do that if he wins without breaking sweat, and his opponent is all bashed up.

But if he stops Chisora, then the Vitali fight HAS to happen. Simple as that - and Vitali will know it. One thing about the Klitschkos we all forget is that as smart as they are, and for all their fantastic and benevolent acts, they are ferociously proud - stupidly so, if anything - and their pride will get in the way of their judgement if Haye does a real job on Chisora.

If Haye wins on points, they won't be that bothered. But if Haye destroys Chisora, they won't be able to put up with it, trust me.

And I feel that although Haye will win a terrific fight, he won't do enough to force Vitali's hand without a lot of dealing and talking.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Steve Bunce Close
Steve Bunce has been ringside in Las Vegas over 50 times, he has been at five Olympics and has been writing about boxing for over 25 years for a variety of national newspapers in Britain, including four which folded! It is possible that his face and voice have appeared on over 60 channels worldwide in a variety of languages - his first novel The Fixer was published in 2010 to no acclaim; amazingly it has been shortlisted for Sports Book of the Year.